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Advice for parents



A guide to your roles and responsibilities

As a parent, you are responsible for many aspects of your child's involvement in sport.

Give them encouragement, but don't pressure them to play sport.

Here's a handy guide to helping your child through the ups and downs of their sporting life.

NEW CHALLENGE?

If your child starts to lose interest, find out why and think of ways you can get their interest back.

Maybe they need a new challenge. By encouraging your kids to have a go at other sports you'll make them feel in control.

There's loads of sports on offer out there, so if basketball's not their thing, athletics could well be the one.

The whole point of playing sport is having fun, as well as picking up new skills.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

The more involved your child gets in sport, the more they'll need your support.

If your kids take sport seriously, they'll become stressed at times; this is when they'll need your help.

Sport can provoke extreme emotions, like having to deal with losing, or the adrenalin rush you feel when you win.

It may be the first time your child has experienced these feelings, but it won't be the last - sport is a good place to start.

Give them as much support as possible by going to as many of their games and competitions as possible - they'll appreciate you being there.

BE PART OF THE PICTURE

If your child needs your support, make yourself accessible to them.

Or better still, get involved by volunteering your services or take up coaching, the you'll be in a much better position to help them out.

PLAYING THE GAME

Once your children start playing sport, there's the extra stresses to add like preparing for trials, winning and losing, getting on with the coach and other team-mates.

Make sure you know what's going on.

GETTING PICKED FOR THE TEAM

This can be a difficult time for kids - and you.

If your child starts worrying about what the coach thinks of them, comparing their performance to their team-mates, they can become intimidated.

Remind them to focus on themselves. Set goals for them and talk about the ways to reach them.

Remind your kids that if they don't succeed at a particular trial, it doesn't mean they won't succeed at another.

GIVING THE RIGHT MESSAGE

While nobody likes to lose, children should be reminded it's also how you play that matters.

Questions such as "did you win?" or "did you score?" can make your kids feel as if they've failed.

Focus on maintaining your child's confidence. Ask them if they enjoyed the game and how they could have done better.

Most importantly, ask your child if they had fun.

GETTING ON WITH THE TEAM

It may be the first time your child has been part of a team; encourage them to get to know their team-mates.

The same goes for your relationship with the coach and other parents.

You all have different goals: you're concerned with your kids' performance, the other parents with theirs and the coach with the team as a whole.

If the coach makes a decision that you're not happy with, try not to cause trouble with them as this will invariably cause more headaches for your child.

Or you could give coaching a shot yourself.





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